As my original review of the Terralta aparments, posted in 2005, is no longer on the site, I've merged it with a later review to form this (rather lengthy!) new one.
We have stayed at the Terralta several times, and are planning to visit again in 2010. For a relaxing break, good-quality accommodation and a quiet location well away from the bars and clubs, it scores top marks.
The 1-bedroom apartment is a fair size, with a well-equipped kitchen area with a 4-ring ceramic hob, microwave oven/grill and a very efficient fridge-freezer. I enjoy cooking while we're away, and it was bliss having a fridge that actually kept things cold! The bathroom has a 4-piece suite with a shower over the bath, and there’s also a hairdryer mounted on the bathroom wall. There isn't much storage space (two tiny shelves), so not much room for wash things and toiletry bags. The balcony is a decent size, though a little cramped for alfresco dining, and only two balcony chairs are provided, regardless of the number of guests in the apartment. Cleaning of the apartments can be a bit erratic, though - there were long gaps with no cleaning whatsoever, then the maid would appear for two days in a row!
We didn't eat in the restaurant very often, but when we did the food was of good quality and came in decent-sized portions. It’s the usual tourist fodder – burgers, pizza, toasties, salad, but it’s reasonably priced and convenient if you don’t want to venture away from the pool at lunchtime. If you’d rather eat at one of the outdoor tables you can order a take-away from the bar, and if you're ordering drinks to take to the pool area remember to mention this to the waiters, as they will give you plastic glasses.
In addition to the Direct Holidays kids' clubs there's daily entertainment provided by the hotel's own 'animation team' which my two enjoyed more than the kids club itself. The entertainment room was a bit too smoky for our liking, so we didn't go in there much. Expect the usual parrot shows, flamenco, bingo, quiz nights etc. In the basement there's also a games room with pool tables, air hockey, table tennis, whack-a-hamster.
The pool area is lovely and quite expansive, with a large shallow end which slopes gently downwards; a 'mushroom' fountain is at one end of the pool and also a jacuzzi. There's a tiny splash pool for toddlers, and a covered pool at the back of the apartments which is recommended for adults only, as it's much deeper than the main pool and there isn't a lifeguard in attendance. The main pool has a lifeguard in attendance until 6pm.
The gardens surrounding the apartments are extremely neat and well maintained - a few palms, some orange trees, and the borders beneath the apartments are filled with rosemary, lavender, thyme and jasmine - very fragrant in the evening. There are some gnarled old olive trees and a grassy area beside the covered pool - you can use towels on the grass, but not sunbeds. Sunbeds around the main pool are free, and there are plenty of them so there’s no frantic 'laying down of towels' in the morning. Foam mattresses (very comfy!) can be hired from reception for 1 euro a day, though they also do special rates for longer hires. Each time we have visited, there have been a handful of friendly and very tame cats at the complex – not a problem for us, as we have a cat of our own and enjoyed playing with them, but I can understand how some people might object.
The onsite mini market stocks basics such as drinks, sweets, cheese, milk, ice-cream, tinned goods (mostly British) and a few sundries like beach towels and postcards. Unfortunately it doesn't have a license to sell fresh fruit and veg, but there is another supermarket at the bottom of the hill where you can pick up other bits and pieces. We found the quality there (and some of the 'Best Before' dates) a bit dodgy so if you want to stock up on fresh food it's best to head up to the top of the Avinguda del Rei Jaume 1 and along the Avinguda d'Alfonso Puchades where there's a big Mercadona. For fresh fruit and veg you can't beat the local market which takes place on a bit of waste ground just behind the apartments on Wednesday mornings. Turn right as you leave the apartments, then right again along the back of the apartments. Go over a small wall into a pine forest, down a slope, and turn right along a dirt track. The market is just a little farther along on the left.
As for the infamous hill – it’s deceptive - you don’t really notice it on the way down, but it seems to grow longer during the heat of the day when carrying heavy shopping bags back to the apartments! The walk into the old town is a leisurely 10-15 minute stroll, perhaps 20 minutes maximum with young children, though this takes longer and is admittedly more tiring on the way back.
As for Benidorm itself, it is always busy and bustling with people & traffic, but the beach is immaculate and stretches for miles, and the tapas bars in the old town are excellent. Our favourite is Aurrera - a noisy bodegón on the corner of ‘Tapas Alley’ which is very popular with locals. Don’t expect tourist fare here – the menu is in Spanish and there isn’t a chip or burger (or even a cup of coffee, for that matter) in sight – but for freshly made, authentic tapas and raciones it’s unbeatable. Any effort to converse in Spanish is very much appreciated by the staff, and the waiters are never anything less than charming, despite being rushed off their feet.
After reading all the recommendations here and on another similar website, we also ate at the Pato Laqueado (just behind the Parc d'Elx on the Poniente beach) and if you've had your fill of calamares and paella and fancy a Chinese instead, you won't be disappointed. Since our first visit we have returned to the restaurant many times, and it has become a firm favourite.
Hope this review is helpful if you’re planning to stay at the Terralta. We have had some lovely holidays there, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a peaceful stay with the beach within walking distance and the option of sampling the local culture in the nearby old town.
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- Also Known As:
- Terralta Apartments Hotel Benidorm
- Terralta Apartments Benidorm